Get the style: the chinstrap
We show you how to nail the sharp look of urbanites everywhere: the chinstrap, as worn by LeBron James, David Ortiz and the legendary Big Daddy Kane
No doubt: Abe Lincoln would have been proud to see his signature chinstrap still being worn today.
The worlds of Hip Hop and sports are defined by confidence and extraverted personalities, and many of those at the top of their games are choosing to wear this look – including LeBron James, David Ortiz, David Beckham, Big Daddy Kane, Lloyd Banks, 50 Cent and Kanye West.
Sure it takes balls to sport this style, something they all have in common. And as Abe Lincoln himself said, “That some achieve great success is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.”
However, confidence isn’t the only prerequisite for making a chinstrap work. The right face shape also plays a major part. Because the chinstrap traces the jaw-line outlining the face, a round face will always end up looking “rounder” with this beard style. The same unfortunate fate awaits those with rectangle, triangle and diamond face shapes.
If you’ve got an oval or square face you’re in luck. The chin strap will suit you best, just like it did for old Abe. But, when all’s said and done, it’s your own style and you have to decide what works best for you.
1.The easiest way to grow a chinstrap is to let your entire beard and mustache grow out. Pay attention to any disconnections or patches in your beard. If you do notice slight disconnections or patches, you may not be able to proceed. However, the smaller the separations the easier it will be to disguise when your whiskers have grown to a good enough length.
2.Once you’ve grown out around a quarter to half an inch of whiskers, start shaping the chinstrap. Shave your neck with your trimmers into a bottom outline. This establishes the lower part of the chinstrap.
3.The next step is deciding the desired width of your chinny chin chin strap. Three-quarters of an inch to an inch wide is about right. Now you need to get both sides even. No one has a perfectly symmetrical face, so the best way to accomplish an even height is to use the old “pointer finger” test. While looking in the mirror and standing straight, place one pointer finger on each side of the face to get the sideburn sections nice and even.
4.Do the same for the front of the chin area, unless you decide to wear a full goatee. Once that has been determined, use the trimmer to mark each side. Do not be afraid to perform the “pointer finger” test several times in order to get this right.
5.Once all areas have been marked, start shaping the beard. Do it slowly and carefully. Do not cross the trimmer marks. You hear me? Do not cross them. OK?
6.Once you’re happy with the shape, consider finishing with a razor blade shave to give the shape an even sharper and cleaner look.
Keep in mind that this can be a tough style to not only create, but to maintain. So when in doubt seek the helpful advice and skills of your barber. You’ve got my number!